A special election Tuesday in a Georgia Congressional district could deal a blow to another Republican attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act if the Democrat wins.
Democrat Jon Ossoff is leading in polls heading into Tuesday’s special election in Georgia’s 6th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but he needs 50% of the vote in a crowded field to avoid a June runoff. Ossoff’s win would make the GOP’s uphill climb on an Obamacare repeal a little tougher .
The race has gained national attention in part because the seat was held by Donald Trump’s top health official, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, and Democrats are hungry for their first Congressional election victory of the Trump era. Price was one of the most vocal opponents of the ACA, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, and he regularly led dozens of futile attempts to repeal the law when Democrats controlled the White House.
But even with Trump in the White House and the GOP in control of Congress, Republicans failed to get their party behind the ACA’s would-be replacement, the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare. House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t even bring the AHCA to a vote after the Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would lead to 14 million fewer Americans with insurance by 2018 and eventually 24 million would lose coverage by 2026.
Price aggressively lobbied Republicans to support the AHCA and most of the 11 Republicans running against the 30-year-old Ossoff support a repeal of the ACA, according to Georgia media reports. The healthcare issue helped Ossoff raise a record more than $8 million and could bring more Democrats to the polls Tuesday, Ossoff supporters say.
“Ossoff is the sort of progressive champion … who can channel resistance movement energy into progressive volunteers and votes, and Republicans have done him a big favor with their efforts to repeal the ACA and kick tens of millions of people off of their health care,” said Anna Galland, interim executive director of Moveon.Org Political Action.
Despite the political disaster of Trumpcare, Paul Ryan said earlier this month the GOP was making “real progress” on an ACA replacement. But Republicans still don’t have the support in the House and cannot afford to lose Price’s seat to Ossoff whether that happens Tuesday or in a June runoff.
Ryan has released no new legislation. Congress is in the middle of a two-week Easter break.
Published at Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0000
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